Superhero movies have become a mainstay of modern film, but their rise to fame was not always easy. Movie and television producers adapted comic book properties with different degrees of success during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Superman: The Movie (1978), Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), and The Incredible Hulk live-action series (1977-1982) demonstrated that superheroes had film potential, but these were outliers; most attempts to bring the comics to life either failed or were received with apathy. These are a few superhero films that most people have either forgotten or had no idea existed. As a result, we at Animated Times decided to inform fans about these weird superhero movies that existed but did not receive much attention. Sounds intriguing, right? If so, let’s go over the list and find out what these movies are.
6. Swamp Thing (1982):
Wes Craven directed Swamp Thing, a cinematic version of DC Comics’ horror series of the same name, between The Hills Have Eyes (1977) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). After troops working for the villainous Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan) invade Alec Holland’s laboratory in the Louisiana marsh, he is changed into Swamp Thing (Dick Durock). Despite the original material and Craven at the helm, the effects were much too cheesy to be truly terrifying. The action scenes are badly handled, and the visual effects, especially for the early 1980s, aren’t very impressive. Swamp Thing and the creature he confronts during the finale, resemble Power Rangers rejects. The sole saving grace is B-movie queen Adrienne Barbeau as the love lead, a choice no doubt appreciated by many 16-year-old males in the crowd in 1982.
5. Fantastic Four (1994):
Roger Corman, the famous B-movie producer, created his own Fantastic Four adaptation a decade before 20th Century Fox released its first Fantastic Four film. Why have you not seen it? Probably because the film was never officially released, either in cinemas or on tape; in reality, it was only created to keep the Constantin studio’s Fantastic Four rights alive until they expired. The budget was under $1 million, which resulted in visual effects right out of a 1970s made-for-TV movie. (The Human Torch graphics at the film’s finale are especially bad.) Because it’s difficult to comprehend anything Doctor Doom says, the filmmakers must have run out of money before they finished dubbing. Despite this, it’s perhaps the most enjoyable Fantastic Four film to date, owing to its simplicity.
4. The Shadow (1994):
For those who are unfamiliar, The Shadow was a pulp character from the 1930s who was best known as the star of a series of famous radio plays. These broadcasts featured the late Orson Welles, the filmmaker of Citizen Kane. In the 1994 film adaptation, Alec Baldwin plays Lamont Cranston, a wealthy New York playboy who fights crime using his alter persona, the Shadow, and a variety of supernatural abilities, including invisibility. The film does an excellent job of portraying its 1930s period and honouring the gloomy source material; but, the plot, about a grandson of Genghis Khan’s intent to explode an atomic bomb, is unimpressive. Universal, the company behind The Shadow, intended to make a superhero franchise out of the film, but the idea doesn’t lend itself well to that format. Furthermore, as Disney discovered with John Carter, there isn’t a big built-in audience for a product established before the majority of Americans possessed televisions.
3. The Phantom (1996):
The Phantom, based on the iconic comic strip of the same name, stars Billy Zane as Kit Walker, a rich playboy in 1930s New York City who covertly battles crime as the titular hero. (Do you see a pattern here? Rich playboys have too much free time.) The Phantom’s mantle is handed down from father to son, with Kit being the most recent incarnation. The creators’ objective with this picture seems to be to replicate the action serials of the early twentieth century, and in that respect it succeeds, but the concept is fundamentally flawed. Sure, the Indiana Jones films did it, but director Steven Spielberg modernized the material for modern viewers in numerous key ways, whereas The Phantom is just as corny as the original series. Plus, let’s be honest: it’s difficult to take a hero seriously when he’s dressed up in a silly purple outfit — and the standard narrative, which scarcely needs mentioning, is a villain attempting to find an ancient artefact to unlock magical abilities. If you’re brave enough to see The Phantom, look for Catherine Zeta-Jones as the villain’s female sidekick early on.
2. The Punisher (1989):
Do you want to watch a corny action film in which Dolph Lundgren assassinates hundreds of Yakuza gang members? (Okay, except from Showdown in Little Tokyo) Then you should see the 1989 version of Marvel Comics’ The Punisher. Lundgren plays Frank Castle, a bereaved detective who seeks vengeance on organized crime by riding his motorbike from one action set piece to the next. The most difficult battle in the picture, however, may be Lundgren’s struggle with the English language, closely followed by the internal tensions that his co-star, previous Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr., must have faced. If it weren’t called The Punisher, it would be indistinguishable from a slew of other 1980s action films. Simply watching any Death Wish sequel will give you the concept.
1. The Spirit (2008):
There have been two films based on Will Eisner’s famous Golden Age comic strip, The Spirit, which is recognized for revolutionizing what you can accomplish on the page. The first was a 1987 TV movie starring Sam J. Jones, whose earlier comic strip adaptation, Flash Gordon, became a cult classic due to its extravagant campiness and killer Queen music. It was supposed to be the pilot for a TV series, but it failed to garner the necessary numbers to persuade anyone that a full series would be a good idea. The 2008 movie Spirit, on the other hand, failed in every way. Frank Miller wrote and directed the film, which stars Gabriel Macht as the eponymous character and Samuel L. Jackson as his arch-nemesis, the Octopus. If Miller’s name seems familiar, it’s because he’s the revolutionary comics creator behind The Dark Knight Returns and the author of Batman: Year One, two of the most highly regarded Batman books of all time that demonstrate that brilliance in one medium does not transfer to talent in another. The Spirit is approached in the same way that he and Robert Rodriguez approached their film adaptation of Miller’s own over-the-top noir comic, Sin City, with high-contrast visuals, ridiculous “hard-boiled” dialogue, and goofy comedy violence, best exemplified by the fight scene in which the Spirit is clocked with a toilet. The problem — or, rather, one of them — was that the only thing Eisner’s and Miller’s styles had in common was that they were both comic books. As a result, the film is perhaps the worst comic book adaptation of all time-yes, much worse than whatever you’re thinking of. It makes Corman’s Fantastic Four appear like a shambles. Captain America: Civil War makes Batman and Robin seem like Citizen Kane. It bombed at the box office, and while Hollywood’s methods are a mystery, it’s likely not a coincidence that Macht hasn’t done much film work since.
So yes, these are Some Of The Strange Superhero Movies We Fans May Not Be Aware Of. Well, these movies, despite the fact that they are old, when they were released, these superhero movies had some of the best plotlines ever, but eventually they got under the bush. So what do you guys think? Which among these is your favorite underrated superhero movie? Please give us your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Until then, keep reading Animated Times, the perfect place to get a closer look at the entertainment industry, upcoming movies, TV series, celebrity gossip, and much more. We’ll have you covered. Keep reading animated times, guys, for more.